The University of Michigan will combine with a variety of interested parties to build a US$6.4 million “simulated urban environment”, specifically for testing connected cars.
With the rise of Car2Car and Car2Infrastucture communication over recent years, the university’s Mobility Transformation Centre is looking to establish a testing facility that removes the danger element of testing autonomous car features in public.
The facility will consist of eight kilometres of roadway made from both concrete and asphalt, intersections, traffic lights, simulated buildings and more, set on a 32-acre site.
The project’s partners will each contribute US$1 million over three years, and the facility is being designed and built with cooperation from the Michigan Department of Transportation.
The new facility forms Stage Two of an ongoing project, beginning last year with the installation of data-gathering wireless monitoring devices in 2800 motorcycles, cars and trucks.
Within the next two years, the university plans to have 9000 intelligent vehicles operating in its home state, expanding to 20,000 by 2021.
The facility is set to begin operation in September this year.